Obesity continues to be an epidemic in the United States, putting many at risk for various diseases and health conditions including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension and respiratory problems. Currently, 61% of the United States population is considered overweight or obese (American Obesity Society).

The Weight Loss Institute of New Jersey at Clara Maass Medical Center will offer a free informational session to discuss who is candidate for weight-loss surgery, what to expect before, during and after surgery, as well as the surgery's risks, benefits and alternatives. Bariatric surgeon, Naveen Ballem, MD, as well as a psychologist, nutritionist and post-bariatric surgery patients will be present to answer questions.

"About Bariatric Surgery," will take place on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 6 p.m. in the Belleville Founders Room, Clara Maass Medical Center, 1 Clara Maass Drive, Belleville, NJ 07109. A support group for post-bariatric surgery patients will follow at 7 p.m.

If you are more than 100 pounds overweight or have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35, you may be a candidate for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.Bairatric surgery can cause significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. With the commitment to a healthy lifestyle, surgery has the potential to be an effective, long-lasting weight loss method. Patients are likely to lose 50% to 75% of their excess weight and should see improvement in conditions linked to obesity, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The weight loss is likely to occur rapidly and continue for up to two years after surgery. After surgery, patients may enjoy the benefit of feeling full after eating only small amounts of food.There is no cost to attend this event. Please call 1.888.724.7123, prompt 4, to register.